We are a program committed to ensuring families receive the Child Support they need and deserve.
The Services we provide include:
- Locating Parents
- Determining Paternity
- Establishing Child Support and Medical Support orders
- Enforcing Child Support orders
- Modifying Child Support orders
We need your help in locating the other parent. Useful information includes:
- Full name and other names that may be used
- Last known address and/or phone number
- Employer names, addresses and phone numbers and the kind of work they do/did
- Social Security number
- Date and place of birth
- Relatives’ names and addresses
- Military records
- Assets (home, business, cars, boats, etc.)
Paternity is important
Every child deserves to have a legal father. When you establish paternity, you identify the legal father of the child. Paternity gives rights and benefits to the mother, the father and the child.
How do I establish Paternity for my child?
In Florida, there are five ways to establish paternity:
- Marriage: The parents are married to each other when the child is born.
- Acknowledgement of Paternity: The unmarried couple signs a legal document in the hospital when the child is born, or later.
- Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing: Paternity is established by Administrative Order if a genetic test proves fatherhood.
- Court Order: A judge orders paternity in court.
- Legitimization: The mother and natural father get married to each other after the child is born and update the birth record through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
What is Genetic Testing?
A genetic test is a scientific test used to prove the father of the child. It is also called a DNA test. Since DNA is present in every cell in your body, we do not use needles or need blood to do the test.
Skin cells are collected from the inside cheek area of the mouth from the mother, the alleged father and the child. Once the genetic test results are received from the laboratory, we will send the results to the mother and the alleged father in the mail. We do not give test results (positive or negative) to anyone over the phone.
Benefits that may be included in a Child Support Order:
- Paternity, if the mother was not married when the child was born
- Amount of child support that must be paid
- Medical insurance
- Medical Costs not covered by insurance
How we obtain Child Support Orders
In Florida, the amount of child support awarded is based on Florida Guidelines. We have two ways to get support orders:
- Administrative – Most of this process is handled by mail. A court hearing may not be needed.
- Judicial – Parents come to a court hearing where a support order is established by the court after the case is heard by a General Magistrate.
Child Support amount
In Florida, Child Support depends on the income of both parents. We use the guidelines set in Florida law to decide the child support amount. We ask parents to give us information about their finances, such as paychecks and income tax returns for verification.
Enforcement of Child Support Orders
Some of the actions we may include:
- Income Withholding
- Driver License Suspension
- Suspension of Business, Professional and Recreational Licenses
- Federal Income Tax Refund Intercept
- Unemployment Benefits
- Credit Reporting
- Court Action
- Passport Denial
- Bank Account Freeze
Ways to Pay Your Child Support
- Your job can automatically deduct your child support payment from your paycheck.
- Go to the Central Depository of the Overtown Transit Village Tower 2, 16th floor, located at 601 NW 1st Court, Miami, FL 33136 (same building as Child Support Office)
- Pay by mail:
State Disbursement Unit / P.O. Box 8500 / Tallahassee, Florida 32314-8500
- Pay online by credit card or electronic check at:
- Pay by cash through any of the following money transfer services:
- Pay online by credit card or electronic check at:
www.myfloridacounty.com (This option may take 5 days for your payment to post)
Things to remember when paying your Child Support
To avoid processing delays, make sure you include the following information on your payment:
- Your name (clearly written)
- The complete court case number or child support case number. If your payment is for more than one case, tell us how much to apply to each case.
Ways to receive your Child Support payments
- Direct Deposit – Payments go directly into your checking or savings account. A Social Security number is required for direct deposit.
- Payment Card – The SMI One Card is a card you can use to make purchases or cash withdrawals and is accepted anywhere debit and credit cards are accepted. (fees may apply to the debit card option)
If you are receiving cash assistance, the state may retain all or a portion of the child support paid.
How to change a Support Order
If you have a case with us, you can ask us to review your support order. You may qualify for a support order review if:
- Your support order has not been changed or reviewed in the last 3 years
- There has been a permanent or major change in your income or the needs of the children
- You are adding or removing a child from the order
- You are extending the time support needs to be paid (Example: Your child is still in high school)
- You are adding or removing medical support from the order
Please note, your request for a review/modification of your order must be received at least 6 months before your existing child support order is due to stop. Tell us if you think your support order needs to be changed. We may need to send documents for you to complete and return to us to begin the review of your order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My child support order is from another state. Can Florida enforce my order?
A: Yes. We will need a copy of your support order. If you don`t have the order, you will need to get a copy or give us enough information about it so we can get it. We also need the other parent`s residential address if you know it. If the other parent lives outside of Florida, we may need to ask the other state to help enforce the order.
Q: Can I apply for services before the birth of my child?
A: No, However you can apply anytime after the child is born.
Q: What services do you provide for parents paying support?
A: Depending on the facts of your case, we can help you establish paternity. If your support order is eligible to be modified, we can assist with the process. We can help you make support payment arrangements. If you already have a case with us, you can get case information online at Child Support E-Services: https://childsupport.state.fl.us.
Q: Can I pay for more than one case with the same check?
A: Yes. The check should have a note with it that lets us know what amount goes with which case. The note should include the case numbers and the amount of money for each case.
Q: How can I find out the status of my case?
A: You can get case information online through Child Support eServices. You can also visit a local office or call us. Have your case number and/or Social Security number handy. Your case information is confidential. We will not talk about your case with anyone but you or a verified authorized representative for your case.